AOL Money and Finance site, WalletPop.com have announced the 25 things they project will make a big comeback in 2009:
The Sharper Image
The Sharper Image, once a staple at malls around the country, was snuffed out of business last year. Strangely, it seems that providing people with a free place to try out a massage recliner is not a viable business model. But there's still some value in the techno-gadget brand name, and the private equity firm that controls the company are now letting outside companies release products under The Sharper Image name, giving it new life as a "virtual brand."
Desperate times inspire desperate actions. This may be part of the business plan behind the reemergence of Amway from behind the obfuscating name it adopted, Quixtar. The company, often criticized for operating much like a pyramid scheme and sometimes referred to as a cult, is no doubt hoping to recruit new agents unable to find other work.
3-Piece Suits for Men
Hard economic times and conservative dress go hand in hand, as we found with the demise of racy Roaring Twenties fashions during the Great Depression. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the ultimate in conservative male sartorial splendor, the three-piece suit, is coming back in 2009.
'9 to 5' as a musical on Broadway
Dolly Parton's pouring herself a new cup of ambition: Broadway. One of the only bright spots in the Great White Way's season is the incoming musical '9 to 5,' based on the now-classic 1980 workplace madcap comedy. She's supplemented her famous theme song with an entire new score--her first for the theater.
Brown Bag Lunches
Thanks mainly to the economic downturn those Americans who packing their lunches will have more company in the break room this year. Prepackaged food companies have noted this sea change, too, and are busily rolling out new options to meet the demands of the modern brown bag luncher.
GM is bringing back the Camaro -- just in time for a baby boomer mid-life crisis. As Chevy lover Bruce Springsteen sang, "The time is right to go racing in the street." The 2010, fifth-generation Camaro can be special ordered now and ready for cruising this spring. In 1967, when Chevy first introduced the Camaro at a press conference, a reporter asked what the name meant. The product manager answered, "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."
With the recession unfortunately still around and unemployment rising, finding ways to cut costs and make less expensive meals at home are some of the easiest ways to save money. One staple of the budget meal: pasta.
The fact that Atlantic Magazine has instituted a cocktail column doesn't make a trend, but it is evidence that those who like beer cold and scotch neat are out of favor. The trade magazine Beverage World reports that sales of premium spirits – which in my opinion are wasted on sweet cocktails -- are up 92 percent in the last year. And USA Today says that the next big thing in alcohol is organic spirits mixed with natural flavoring.
Glass Baby Bottles
New parents take great pains to make sure their babies are kept out of harm's way. That includes plugging up every electrical outlet and installing safety latches on drawers and cabinets. News that baby bottles could be harmful sent them en mass toward the companies that make and market old-fashioned glass bottles.
For many musicians, the thought of a comeback sustains them through years of state fair and trade show gigs, but sadly, few manage to grab the gold ring twice. In 2009, however, several musicians stand a good chance of returning to prominence, including Hillary Duff, Eminem, the Grateful Dead (those of them left, that is,) No Doubt, and Natalie Imbruglia.
Home Hair Coloring
Today, more than half of Americans color their hair and they aren't all women anymore. Men - graying baby boomers likely leading the pack - are coloring their hair in record numbers. Do you dare do it yourself? Maybe. Maybe not. It's more than simply self-promotion when hair colorists report an increase in frantic calls from do-it-yourself-ers who arrive for the first available appointment wearing a large hat.
Hungry Hungry Hippos and G.I. Joe
One of the great things about being a parent is playing with your kids' toys. Or at least reliving your childhood by again playing the games you played as a child. Hungry, Hungry, Hippos, which debuted in the 1970s, and G.I. Joe, which has been around since 1964, are making comebacks this year as the parents who played with them as kids are now enjoying them with their own children.
As families become strapped for disposable income and spend more of their resources utilizing the currency of "time" instead of "cash," the iron is coming back out of the closet. Instead of spending their ever-dwindling paycheck on dry cleaning, more and more are ironing their own dress shirts and jackets.
Line Drying Clothes
Once the clothes dryer became widely adopted, the clothesline began to represent poverty, and many aspiring communities banned them. Now, however, the Project Laundry List is successfully lobbying state governments to allow you to dry your duds any way you wish. So far, Florida, Utah, and Colorado have all supported "right-to-dry" laws. Change is in
Mashed Potato Variations
Americans love, really love potatoes; fried, steamed, baked, made into dumplings and pancakes, mashed, smashed, stewed, baked into bread and pan-fried into hash browns. In these times of mounting economic stress, our regard, reverence and outright love for potatoes has only continued to grow.
Since it's so hard to make a profit these days, why not get out of the get-rich-quick rat race? That's what a lot of laid off workers are thinking these days, which is driving up interest in non-profits. Investment is up to, especially in non-profits that are developing new technologies. And with the new President as a vibrant cheerleader, this could be a great year for social responsibility.
Paying With Cash
In the sobering light of recession, Americans are taking a second look at their spending habits, and don't care much for what they see. Many are sticking their credit cards away and reverting to the old standby, cash money. If they don't have the cash, they're choosing to wait until they do rather than pile up even more debt.
Recreational Fishing and Camping
Mix together a huge population bubble approaching retirement with savings depleted by a sagging economy and you end up with a lot of people with free time and not much money to spend. This is sweet music to purveyors of cheap recreations like fishing and camping.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
You may already hear it swirling around in your head, that distinct, unforgettable sound of Regis Philbin saying, "Is that your final answer?" This is not your subconscious stuck in the year 2000. There is serious talk that ABC will bring back 'Who Wants to be Millionaire' next fall with Reege as the host.
To a generation convinced that an adequate rainy day fund consisted of unused credit on a credit card, the notion of actually stashing away money seemed antiquated. After the fall, however, many are rethinking their finances, and returning to that old, staid standby of the frugal consumer, the savings account.
Sewing and DIY fashions
While making your own clothes is not always no more economical than buying them new, it's an entirely different process; in fact, the process is much of the fun. Retail therapy? Meet creative, crafty therapy, creating your own fashion "out of whole cloth," as it were.
Spam (the eatin' kind)
Spam has a long and proud history. For example, it was one of the few meat products generally available in the United Kingdom during World War II. Thus, the famed Monty Python Spam sketch was born out of the fact that the meat was, literally, a lifesaver for the besieged island country.
In the 43 years since the first 'Star Trek' voyage, this idealistic, Camelot-fueled vision has been replaced with far darker perspectives of the future. This May, however, the J. J. Abrams-helmed 'Star Trek' movie promises to reboot the original story. With a young, attractive, volatile crew, the new film promises to be a heck of a lot closer to your father's 'Star Trek.'
Thick shoes, fringe hairstyles and Uggs
Nowhere is the past more prologue than in the fashion industry, and again in 2009 the past-popular returns with updated details to make them appear fresh. Three noteworthy trends for the coming year are the resurrection of platform and thick shoes, fringe hairstyles, and the oh-so-comfortable Ugg line of boots.
The story of Lance Armstrong is widely known – world-class cyclist contracts cancer, battles back from death's doorstep to recover, then wins the arduous Tour de France, a record seven times. To the surprise of many, late in 2008 Armstrong announced that he is returning to cycling at the unheard-of age of 37. Is this his attempt to silence critics who accuse him of doping to win?